Life at PCD

Chowder Day & Reunion

- A CELEBRATION FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY -
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2021

Join us for our annual family homecoming and alumni reunion. A full day of athletic events, family fun, and delicious New England chowder make this a "don't miss this" kind of day!

This community-wide event began in the 1944 and has been a much anticipated annual tradition ever since. Parents, grandparents, students, siblings, alumni, alumni parents, and friends come together to cheer on the PCD Knights in athletic contests throughout the day, enjoy chowder and clam cakes, and chat with old friends and new. The day promises terrific competition, amazing chowder and lots of fun. Everyone is welcome—the more the merrier!

Last Year's Schedule - Oct 2021

9:00am - 1pm
Alumni Registration & Coffee
Alumni Tent on the field
Pick up your alumni button for complimentary chowder.  
9:00am
Bike Ride in Memory of Former Associate Head of School, Mr. Ed Ames, Jr.
Surrounding Community
All are welcome.  
 
9:00am
Middle School Cross Country vs. Blackstone Valley Prep, Community Prep, Lincoln, and Times 2 Academy
Campus Perimeter  
 
9:00am
Middle School Girls “A” Soccer vs. Blackstone Valley Prep School
Varsity Turf Field  
 
9:00am
Middle School Boys “A” Soccer vs. Community Prep School
Varsity Turf Field  
 
9:00am
JV Girls Volleyball vs. St. Raphael Academy
Moran Gymnasium  
 
10:00am - 2:00pm
Children’s Activities
Children of all ages will find fun throughout the day.  
 
10:00am
Varsity Girls Tennis vs. Lincoln School
At Kendbrin  
 
10:00am
Henry Barnard School Games
Varsity Turf Field  
 
10:30am
Varsity Girls Volleyball vs. Times 2 Academy
Moran Gymnasium  
 
11:00am
Varsity Cross Country vs. Marianapolis, Rocky Hill, and St. Andrews Schools
Campus Perimeter  
 
11:00am - 3:00pm
Chowder Buffet Luncheon
Evan R. West Field House
Traditional feast includes New England clam chowder provided by Blount Fine Foods with additional support from FLIK Independent School Dining Services and Tourtellot & Co.  
 
11:45am
Turf Field Dedication
Varsity Turf Field  
 
11:55am
Varsity Football Senior Recognition & Coin Toss
Woodruff Field
 
12:00 Noon
Varsity Football Senior Recognition
Woodruff Field 

12:00 NOON - 3:00pm
Alumni Art Show
Corkery Auditorium, 2nd Floor Metcalf Building
All are welcome. 

12:05pm
National Anthem & Alma Mater
Varsity Turf / Woodruff Fields  

12:15pm
Varsity Football vs. Hope High School
Woodruff Field  
 
12:15pm
Varsity Girls Soccer vs. Hope High School
Varsity Turf Field  
 
12:30pm
Freshman Girls Volleyball vs Seekonk High School
Moran Gymnasium
 
1:45pm
Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Burrillville High School
Varsity Turf Field  
 
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Alumni Art Show & Cocktail Reception
Corkery Auditorium, 2nd Floor Metcalf Building
All alumni are welcome. Alcohol will be served.  Positive 21+ ID required.

Chowder Day History

If you are the author or know who is, please let us know!
 
Sometime in 1943 or 1944 a sublime thought came to Carl Hesse. What his motivation was has been lost. It could have been to create an occasion for the PCD community to come together one more time, before what was sure to be a difficult winter. The war in the Pacific and Europe was trudging through some of its darkest hours and there were PCD boy involved and yet to be involved. With the closeness of this community the realities of war would have been only a hand clasp away.

Perhaps it was a recollection of his own past that inspired him. Perhaps, just a frivolity, a distraction to, for a few hours, hide away the burdens of war; a celebration of the boys and their youth. Whatever the reasoning, headmaster Ed Lund must have thought the idea was a good one.

The event that emerged in the fall of 43 or 44 was the “Chowder Party.” The only sport played on that day was football. But the feeling on campus must have been similar to the myriad sport “Chowder Day” that we now know. The snap in the air, the collage of the leaves. The flashes and patches of red and black on the playing field and stippled about the crowd of spectators and the smiles, the bugs, the cheering.

After the game, then as now, their and our focus turned and turns to chowder. The answers to why chowder was chosen are speculation. Purely New England warming in all aspects, a simple delicacy for a family to gather around. Each person giving some small portion, each portion combined with the others; the end product being greater than the some of its parts, the resulting experience being joyous, fulfilling, memorable, was chowder Hesse’s metaphor for PCD?

Through the years the ingredients for “Chowder Day” have varied but the flavor remains the same. In the early years the fathers of students cooked the chowder on the “west side” (across Pawtucket Ave.) and served it on the “east side” in Metcalf gymnasium (now Chase Hall). Besides clam chowder, coffee, corn, donuts, apples and, of course, clam cakes have shared the menu. Floral decorations for one particular “Chowder Party” were chrysanthemums in football helmets. In 1955, 365 alumni, parents, students and friends assembled to join in the revelry. There was a light drizzle in the air that day, the yearbook makes note: “cars lining the field attested to the loyalty of fans who took to the bleachers at dry moments.” Each year a little different, each year so much the same.

This is dedicated to “Chowder Day,” to Carl Hesse, to Ed Lund, to all those chowder cooking fathers, to the alumni and to all the students and parents of PCD. Turn your thoughts to the symbol of this day and why Carl Hesse chose it, the modest soup of New England with complex flavor, Chowder.